BY JEREMY SHERE
Phase II of the Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington main campus expansion is nearing completion. Students, faculty, and staff should expect to begin using the space by the start of spring semester 2016, says Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Amanda Billings.
“We have many exciting opportunities for students and the community with this long-awaited expansion,” she says. “We encourage students, families, and friends of the college to attend our open house in late November to see for themselves all the academic and collaborative possibilities.”
The expansion will house the new paramedic science program, providing space for a new paramedic lab and classroom; a kinesiology lab and movement room for academic and fitness classes; a new “makerspace” for budding entrepreneurs and inventors, featuring numerous whiteboards, laser cutters and engravers, 3-D printers, and embedded computing systems; two new state-of-the-art science labs; an advanced automation and robotics lab; baking and pastry and culinary arts labs that will serve as the new home for Ivy Tech’s hospitality administration program (currently housed in leased space off-campus); an expanded library; a new music room for music appreciation courses; a new art room with large windows to maximize natural light; a student game room; and 14 new faculty offices.
The new arts space is particularly exciting, Billings says, as it will anchor theschool’s Associate of Fine Arts degree program. Billings says the program has positioned Ivy Tech as a leader in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) movement, which highlights the importance of an arts education alongside STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses.
The kinesiology lab and movement room is also noteworthy because it will benefit not only students focused on kinesiology, but also the community through fitness offerings, says Billings. Additionally, the expansion has made it possible for Bloomingfoods Ivy Tech to increase its healthful food options on campus. Thanks in part to such offerings, Billings notes, Ivy Tech–Bloomington has been recognized as a gold-level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association.
“Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus plays a vital role in developing our local workforce,” says Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “The college serves as a catalyst for growth, building our economy and making a regional footprint, graduate by graduate. Our greatest strength is our ability to change lives in the communities we serve.”